One day after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and GM Jeff Ireland addressed the media, it was head coach Joe Philbin's turn.
Philbin spoke on a number of topics about Miami's offseason at the NFL meetings in Palm Beach. Here is the full transcript.
(On being involve with the CBA, contract disputes, and so on as a head coach) - "It's good to have a broad exposure to it. I'm not into the nitty-gritty and all of the details, but obviously Dawn Aponte does a great job. She's extremely knowledgeable. She's worked with the league office. She's about as knowledgeable as anybody that you could have in that position. And Jeff (Ireland) obviously deals with that on a daily basis as well. I think we have two people in the building that have vast knowledge so I don't think they need me necessarily to get in their way. It's also good to have a general understanding of some of the basic principles."
(On having Mike Sherman on your coaching staff) - "It's been great. We had our meeting the coordinators and myself met on Friday right before we kind of gave them some time off during the owner's meeting. We went over our practice schedules for the voluntary minicamp that we're putting in place. And Mike (Sherman) had a lot of great suggestions and a lot of things that I kind of had planned out the whole camp, but they made a couple of adjustments, Kevin (Coyle) as well. And when you have guys that have been coaching veterans, head coaches, Mike's got 10 years of head coaching experience. Kevin has been in the league for 11 years so it's been good that way."
(On being a head coach been overwhelming or embracing) - "It's been great. I think the number one challenge to me when I accepted the position as the head coach here was identifying, and then recruiting, and acquiring excellent coaching staff. I can tell you that is the number one place I started in determines of my confidence level and comfort level is with the men I've been able to assemble as a coaching staff. Again, I've known Mike Sherman for 32 years. He's proven. He's an excellent offensive football coach. He was an excellent head football coach in the NFL and did a great job at Texas A&M as well. I've known Kevin Coyle since 1986. I have a lot of confidence in him. Darren Rizzi, I've known for a while. Obviously, we finished second in the league in special teams. I think it's a great place to start with our three coordinators. I think we have a real nice blend of experienced guys, young guys, and hungry guys. Guys that want to prove themselves. A lot of them have kind of come up the way I came up in terms of earning their way into the NFL. Not necessarily handed some jobs. So far, so good, as I said before I'm 0-1. I bought a much bigger house than I needed, but other than that I'm excited."
(On bringing in the right players you want from free agency) - "Yeah, when we entered free agency, when we entered the offseason, we identified some priorities in terms of positions we felt that needed to be upgraded whether it would be free agency, the draft, college free agency somehow, someway. Just like the college recruiting process you identify some prospects. You go after them. People make decisions for a variety of reasons and we're happy that Paul Soliai decided to resign back with us. We identified the cornerback position as one that was important. We're excited about Richard Marshall, I think he's going to add something. Artis Hicks is a veteran that we think is going to give us some versatility in the offensive line. David Garrard came in and had an excellent workout. Obviously, some players made decision to go elsewhere in the course of our meetings when they were here with us I thought we had productive, excellent meetings. And sometimes those things work out and sometimes both parties have to want to dance. Those things happen."
(On any areas that concern you right now) - "I'm concern about everything, but I think it's important that we get on the field with these guys in the offseason program to have a better hand. We've watched a lot of tape. We've identified some areas that need to get better and I'm confident that we'll do that. But when I came for the interview one of the things I told Steve (Stephen Ross) and Jeff (Ireland) was there been a ton of focus and I mentioned it to you guys as well, on the quarterback position as it should be in this league and my feeling as I watched the tape the offensive line needs to get better if our quarterback position is going to play better and so that's going to be a priority. And we have to make sure that happens as we move forward."
(On having your five offensive linemen starters set right now) - "No, not at all, but again it's March 20 something. Again, I'm concern about every position, but we're not teeing the ball up for real for a while and we need to get a handle on what these guys do well. What areas they need to improve upon and hopefully we can add to the mix a little bit. Provide a little more competition and improve."
(On having the nine offensive linemen you want) - "I'm not sure yet. I really don't know Ben (Volin). Again, I have to get a chance to be with them. Watch them work, watch them on film, take a look at their practice habits, their athleticism, and those types of things. It's a little premature so I'll say no."
(On Matt Moore) - "I thought he managed the games very well. He's not necessarily a by-the-book quarterback, but he was very productive. I think he has good arm strength and he kind of has a knack. He kind of has that ability to move the team. He and I had a great conversation on the phone. I want to say it was last Thursday or Friday when dust had settled a little bit. We talked and he sounds very excited, very optimistic, can't wait to get back here. He's anxious to compete for a job. We talked about how I envisioned that position moving forward and he was all on board and looking forward to compete and wanted to get back to Miami, get back with his teammates and start working towards the 2012 season."
(On how do you envision the quarterback position) - "I envision Matt Moore, and David Garrard, and Pat Devlin at this point and time getting a lot of repetitions in the voluntary minicamp and as things move forward based on what things happen we'll divide the reps up from there. It's an open competition. I told both guys that and we're very clear about that. I told David my only obligation for Matt Moore is he's a member of the 2012 Dolphins. He's under contract. He played well last year and he deserves an opportunity to compete for a starting position. Just like David does because David is now a member as well."
(On not pursuing Matt Flynn as aggressively as the media thought) - "I think we made an aggressive push. We got him in here relatively quickly. Again, we had a great meeting. Matt (Flynn) and I had some conversations, a number of conversations prior to his arrival to Miami. We had some subsequent ones after. He'd probably be able to give you better answer as to why he chose to go elsewhere. All I know is when we were together the visit was excellent. I thought he got along very well with our offensive staff. He and I obviously have a relationship together. Excited for him and wish him all the best and I think he'll do a fine job."
(On Matt Flynn selecting Seattle over Miami) - "Again, you need to ask Matt Flynn why he's in Seattle. There's a myriad factors that go into why people make decisions about their own future, which is their prerogative. And clubs have their own prerogative as to how they are going to decide to move forward. And so again, it always takes two people to get a marriage and so I wish him well. He's a great young man. But he's better to ask why he's in Seattle."
(On having a #1 receiver in your offense) - "Part of the philosophy of the offense is to have balance. We want our quarterbacks typically to have what we call progression reads where they're not necessarily isolated on one specific individual. With that being said, we're going to play to our hot hand. We're going to certainly strive to create mismatches and take advantage of the guys that we do have. But the offense, once we install the passing game, is not necessarily built upon ok you're the #1 guy, you're the #2 guy, you're the #3 guy. As we put the plays together for the quarterback in his mind there's a progression of who's the first receiver, who's the second receiver, who's the third receiver. But it's more multiple in terms of, we can have a variety of guys lined up in that spot and so it's not necessarily that there isn't one, but it's not that there is one either. We're going to do whatever to move the ball effectively. Certainly, we're going to study our strengths and try to expose the weaknesses of the defense either by scheme, formation, or personnel. But we don't necessarily think in terms of right now this guy is our one, this guy is our two, and this guy is our three at this stage of the game."
(On differentiating in terms of slot receiver, speed receiver, and so on) - "I think there's certain qualities you like, outside as opposed to inside. Years ago you initially want a short, quick, fast guy inside. Today, with the way defenses are playing you also want to have somebody big who can attack the middle of the field. A big target for the quarterback who can go get a ball in the middle of the field when he's matched up against a bigger linebacker or a larger nickel player inside. And the other part, part two is as we game plan I don't envision us being locked in (Davone) Bess always playing in the slot. (Brian) Hartline is always going to play outside. I think you want to create a little bit more work for the defense in terms of, ok how we're going to match this up. Hartline started outside, but he motioned inside and vice versa. We may line up our tight ends as the widest receivers and our little guys inside and so I think you have to have some flexibility formation wise. I don't want us to be locked into a small player inside, big guy outside every single snap. I don't see us doing that moving forward."
(On the departure of Brandon Marshall) - "We thought it was in the best interest for the football team moving forward and I use the analogy, if Reggie Bush gets hurt in game one we still have to find other guys to pick up the slack. We're still going to run the football. We're not going to fold up our tents and not run the ball. We lost a talented receiver, which we did. We have to look ‘A' within the roster to get more production and more development out of some of our younger guys. The reason you get hired as a coach is, your job is to develop players so it's going to be on us as a coaching staff to bring these guys along. We got some young guys and you need to have them step up."
(On your reaction about the interaction with Dolphins fans that he has encountered) - "I can tell you, the reception I've received has been phenomenal. I've been excited. Everywhere I've been the fans have been great and I'm glad that our fans are passionate. I'm glad that they care about the future and direction of this football team. I can assure you that we're committed to winning. We're committed in doing everything possible to have the best team we can in 2012 and beyond. We get paid to make decisions. We understand not everybody is going to like every single decision, but I love the fact that they're passionate. And they didn't throw any eggs at my car when I drove by them, so that's good (laughing). We'll see how long that last. It may not last much longer."
(On acquiring a receiver through the draft instead of free agency because it's a strong draft class at receiver) - "I don't know it was either one of those. We looked and obviously examined, I think it was Brian Gaine who kind of handles our pro department if I'm not mistaken, I think he said at one point and time, it was the largest free agent class in the history of the NFL. I think I'm making the right comment there. So we went through every position in that area and we certainly looked at different people, different options, but right now and obviously we're working through the prospects in the draft and we're looking through to see some development in our own guys and frankly you got to remember you're talking to a guy that I think in nine years offensively in Green Bay we never had one guy come in there as a free agent and really contribute. So my mindset is more let's get guys into our culture. Let's develop our own people. Let's have faith in our ability to teach and develop and motivate guys. We're still going to look to improve this club anyway we can, but that's kind of the gauge I've used over the years."
(On how do you envision utilizing Reggie Bush) - "I think the one thing that you mentioned is the one thing that's exciting us as an offensive staff is he's got a chance to lineup at a different couple of spots, at a different couple of positions. You can have two tight ends and Reggie (Bush) in the backfield. You might be able to go empty. You might have a fullback with Reggie in the game and you might look like a one-back team or a three wide-out team with him. And then maybe you'll be able to do your traditional two back offense as well so I think it gives you a lot of flexibility. He can do some things in the passing game for you and you keep their base defense on the field maybe and expose a weakness or maybe if you line him up outside and a receiver inside. He just do a lot of different things. We're excited about the flexibility it gives an offense."
(On how do you value the running game in your style of offense) - "When you gameplan, you have to know your personnel. You have to figure out what you do best and what you can do best and move however way you need to move the chains and score points. We would get together as an offensive staff in Green Bay and you have to sit and think ok who are we going to give the ball too and who are our best weapons and who can gain the most yards. Oftentimes, it won out that our quarterback, our tight ends, or our receivers, we felt gave us the best chance to do that. We tried to take advantage of teams if they played the pass, and then we were going to be more inclined to run the ball. So I think part of it was hopefully some of it was sound decisions in terms of what our personnel was, what our strengths were, and you tried to play to your strengths and hide your weaknesses. And hopefully that's why we did it."
(On working with Jeff Ireland to find the players that best fit your offense) - "We have very good collaboration on things. He wants our input, just not my own, but our staff. Our staff has been involved. His department does a great job of evaluating players. Our guys have spent a lot of time looking at tape as well, so the combination of the two has worked well. I've been on board with the decision that have been made and excited about them. As we move forward, I'm sure we will be as well."
(On identifying other receivers on the roster besides Davone Bess and Brian Hartline) - "Well, (Clyde) Gates obviously has some great speed. You're always looking for a vertical presence in the passing game, so you hope that those are the things that are going to be present when we get going here in April and start practicing. And the other guys like I said, they're kind of unknown quantities to us. There's not a lot of game film to study at this point and time. So we're looking to develop good, all-around guys that fundamentally catch the ball well, precise route runners, discipline rout runners and really the other thing you're looking for is people who can win against man coverage. You're going to see a lot of man-to-man coverage and press coverage and we got to identify players. When push comes to shove, football is a one-on-one game and whether it's out on the perimeter, whether it's a receiver versus a DB, whether it's an offensive linemen blocking a premier pass rusher, it's a one-on-one game in a lot of ways. We have to find some guys who can win those matchups on a consistent basis."
(On Steve Slaton and Daniel Thomas) - "I think Steve Slaton has obviously had some very good production in the league. He's a guy we think fits our system of running the football very, very well. That's his training. That's kind of his background in the league so we really felt he was a good fit schematically. And Daniel Thomas we're excited, big buy. I had a good meeting with him a couple weeks ago when he came back into the office, looks like he's in great shape. Obviously, he was a little bit hampered in his development last year. He had a couple of nagging injuries from what I understand anyway. Those have been rectified at this point in time and I'm excited about him. He's a big, different size player, big player. And one thing we need to have with all our backs, we're looking for guys that the best we can the more balance we can have. We want guys with a variety of skills in their toolbox so to speak. We would love to have a guy that can run the ball, pass protect, and catch the ball. So defenses aren't playing jersey numbers all the time. Hey, Slaton is in the game they're doing this. Hey, Bush is in the game they're doing that. You got to have guys to give you that extra dimension. Give you that balance that you're looking for."
(On the tight ends on the roster) - "I really thought (Anthony) Fasano played well. I thought he caught the football well. He makes some difficult catches, catches the ball over the middle, and catches it in traffic. He certainly goes after the football so we like what we saw there. Charles Clay is a young, emerging guy. He made a nice contribution last year. Again, he's one of those guys I don't know if you want to call him a hybrid. He can kind of go to a couple different places for you and looks comfortable doing that which helps you I think and so I'm excited about him. (Will) Yeatman and (Jerod) Mastrud, I had a chance to meet them as well. It's a good young group of guys."
(On how do you utilize the tight end position) - "Again, we would like to find a guy that can function as an in-line blocker. You want someone who can sit next to your offensive tackle, double team down on the defensive end, single block a defensive end, zone block with a tackle. Those are probably the three primary things that we look to identify watching a tight from a blocking prospective. You love to see a guy that can win down the middle of the field and typically that's where they lineup most of the time so whether it's a walkout linebacker or strong safety, like to see a guy that can win his fair share of those matchups and a guy that can get in and out of his cuts in the intermediate area, that would be an added bonus. I think probably the run blocking there and we're going to ask our guys to pass protect as well, that's probably next down the line. There's some of those same type of players if we can split them out at times that can help us. We don't like to box guys we call them. We want guys with flexibility that can move around a little bit."
(On seeing John Jerry as a right tackle and/or right guard) - "That's a great question. We're not sure right now to be quite honest with you (laughing). We've kind of seen him at both spots. We've seen some film of him at both spots. We got to find a home for him. We got to figure out where he can be most comfortable. Where he can be most effective and obviously he has to earn a spot. We're not going to hand anything. The good news is he's played a couple of them. The bad news is he hasn't anchored down one specific spot yet so I think that's going to be key moving forward in the spring."
(On the defensive pass rushing) - "Well, that's an area that we're still looking at, still looking to add to certainly at some point and time. Yeah, we would love to find another guy to add some real presence, especially on third down and nickel situations. But some of those guys are going to have to get some development. We're hoping that Jared Odrick can really keep coming on, keep progressing. He got hurt is first year, made progress, but now in year three you like to see a player to step up and emerge. I think most guys focus on the outside guys, but more and more as we've seen defenses in the last four or five years. The Giants do a great job in the years we've played them in the past. It's doesn't always have to be a defensive end or you have to be able to move those guys around and create some pre-snap confusion and get some post-snap movement as well. I think if you look at the Bengals sub-package that has been creative in the past. It's been multiple in the past. We have to identify and add to that mix from a personnel standpoint. I think you have to have creativity from a schematic standpoint as well."
(On cutting Yeremiah Bell and what it does to the secondary) – "There's a variety of factors that go into every decision that's made. He made an excellent contribution to the football team. He's been a dependable, durable guy. Not an easy decision by any stretch. There was some younger players back there. I think sometimes what happens is you have some younger players and at times a log jam at positions and you don't know about some of these guys. Sometimes what happens to an older player is he gets caught in that situation. We have some younger guys. (Chris) Clemons has started a bunch of games I know in 2010. Reshad Jones has started a bunch of games. (Tyrone) Culver has started some games. So we got some guys that have played some so, we just felt like at this point in time it was the best interest to make that move."
(On Reshad Jones at strong safety) – "Possibly. I don't want to say they're interchangeable spots, but I don't know if there's a huge distinction between those two positions in Kevin (Coyle)'s scheme."
(On if he envisions Richard Marshall competing for a starting job) – "Absolutely. If he's the best guy. Everybody when we come back April 10th, everybody is competing for a job so yeah, sure."
(On what he liked in Richard Marshall's skill set) – "Obviously number one was you're watching defensive backs, you got to see a guy that can cover somebody and help you get off the field on third down. We saw some of that in his film. We saw a guy that played the ball relatively well. We thought he had good ball skills. And the third thing you still have to do when you play defense especially here in Miami is you still have to tackle and this guy is more than a willing tackler. We thought he had some physical toughness that we liked. Sometimes it isn't as common as it maybe should be in this league. Those are probably the three things we liked the best."
(On what he envisions his scheme to be on defense) – "I envision us being a great tackling defense. I envision us being a team that has great pursuit to the football. A team that disrupts the quarterback, takes the ball away. That's what the defense is going to be built around. We're going to have some bear defense, we're going to have some three man line, we're going to have some four man line. We're going to be multiple on defense. We're going to have some extensive pressure package as well. Without saying exactly what we're doing. I think we're going to be a multiple defensive team. Our starting point is going to be tackling, keeping our pads flat, pursuant to the football, disrupting the quarterback, taking the ball away. That's what we're really going to focus on."
(On how badly he thinks Stephen Ross wants to win) – "I wouldn't have come here if I didn't feel that way. The first day I interviewed for the job he and I sat together, the two of us for probably an hour and a half just kind of talked. We shared backgrounds, some of the things I had accomplished in my career. I asked him about his own personal career how he had gotten to where he is and how he got there, some of the things that he believed in that helped him get there. I thought we had a good match and a good marriage. We're different guys. He comes from a different business background obviously than the National Football League. He's very passionate. He's committed. I like his frankness. I like his honesty. He's up front. We're changing. He's invested a lot of money. We asked him to do some things in the building downstairs. We've got a brand new team meeting room. We got a brand new defensive meeting room. We got a brand new locker room. We're going to build a players' lounge. It's not done to make this place Club Med, we're not interested in that, or the Taj Mahal but I think it's a reflection of our commitment where we want to have as good as good as teaching environment as we can possibly have, as good as weight room environment as we can have, as good as practice environment as we can have. He's all on board. He thinks that makes a difference. I believe it makes a difference. Anything that we've asked for in this point in time he's been more than supportive of. It's good. It's like any other relationship, it grows over time as you get some work to it. I'm excited about it and I think there's no question I think he has a high level of commitment. I think he wants to bring this franchise back around where it was, where it once was. I think part of that is hopefully stability, continuity, a confidence in the direction we're going and faith. You got to have faith. There's something about me maybe that prompted him to hire me. You got to have faith in the people you hire. Just like I got to have faith in the players and the players have to have faith in the coach. That's where the starting point is and the leadership can take over from there."
(On if he sees Stephen Ross learning the business as an NFL owner and getting things right here) – "I think he has. I think he is eager to do that. Part of it is and he'd be the first to tell you, he has other things that he's involved in which is great. He's a hard, hard worker. That was one of the reasons he appealed to me was the strong work ethic that he has and the energy that he has and that he's involved in a lot of different things. I think he's certainly committed to learning the business and doing things the right way and doing things in a first class manner."
(On what a quarterback must have) – "Leadership, ability to manage the game. He's got to be a decision maker. Those three things are absolutely critical. Then you go into some of the physical characteristics. He's got to be an accurate passer. He's got to have good velocity. He doesn't necessarily have to have a cannon but he's got to have velocity on his ball. He's got to be able to have good pocket awareness and presence in terms of when to step up, when to slide out. You'd love him to not only have presence but escape ability and mobility, a guy that can maybe throw on the move a little bit so you're not in the same spot again. Our offense is built around execution, fundamentals, but also balance and not necessarily doing the same thing every single snap out of the same formation and the same personnel group. I think a guy that can move and throw is helpful. It really starts with the decision making, the leadership, the game management. Those things put you in a position to use the physical talent and skill that you have to have to play the position."
(On how free agency has affected draft weekend) – "Like I said, as a personnel staff Jeff (Ireland) and his guys and our coaches as well watched the season, our 2011 season and kind of came up with I guess you would call it a wish list so to speak, both sides of the football, areas we would like to see us add to the competitive mix on the football team. So we did that, we were thorough in that phase. Some of those needs, you can't necessarily fix everything in free agency nor do you want to. I don't envision us being deeply, deeply involved. I think when you're doing things the right way you're developing your own guys, you're resigning your own guys so just the business model of the NFL that's going to prohibit you from being overly active all the time in free agency. Now we're going to hopefully take the best players that are available based on our film evaluation when the draft comes around later this month."
(On building through the draft, if he needs to tell fans this is going to take a while) – "I don't think so. Look, I've watched a lot of the tape but to say I have a great handle on where the 2012 Dolphins are this minute is probably not accurate. We need to have a great offseason program. We need to have an excellent OTA phase where we kind of get a better handle on exactly what we feel like these guys are capable of doing. Many of our guys on the staff have NFL experience and maybe can say he's as good as this guy, better than what we had here, not as good. It's way too early to predict where we're going to be in the win/loss column. I think it'd be a disservice to the players to say we're in a rebuilding mode. In the same token we're not going to sit around here and say we're going to do this, this and this. I'm very confident we're going to have a well prepared football team. I think we're going to have a team that's going to develop during the season and get better. I'm excited about working with them. We're not in the position to say a whole lot beyond that at this point until we get our hands around it a little bit."
(On Vontae Davis and Sean Smith) – "We've got two corners from a measureables, size, speed standpoint we're really excited about. Vontae Davis a really physical guy, plays hard, a good tackler. They've showed spurts where they've play extremely well on tape. This season what we're hoping is we get more consistent overall performance week in, week out, series in, series out. Knowing that those guys are out there on an island at times and they aren't going to make every single play. There's going to be completions against those guys. That's what happens. Maybe that they play at a higher level on a more consistent basis. There's been some excellent football by both of those guys on tape. We're looking as a whole to develop them more consistently."
(On his overall thoughts on his front seven) – "Again, (Jared) Odrick is a guy you're looking to see continued growth out of. I really like what we see in (Tony) McDaniel. He's one of the more athletic. We love his size, a very athletic player. Randy Starks, very strong and productive player. I think it's got a chance to be a very, very good front four. Obviously Cameron Wake is a guy that we're excited about. The linebackers we're very lucky. (Karlos) Dansby and (Kevin) Burnett are guys that can play every down. Good nickel players as well as base. We went through the tape of 700 something snaps of sub defense so you're going to have to have guys that can play more. The game is a little different than it used to be just a downhill guy that can play in between the tackle box. I think we have guys that can do that, run with tight ends and run with inside receivers down the field a little bit. I'm looking forward to our front seven being very, very competitive at the starting point. You got to be good up front on both sides of the ball if you want to have a championship team. I think we got a good nucleus up front on defense."
(On Koa Misi and resigning Paul Soliai) – "Football…you got to be strong down the middle in football. Paul is a rare kind of player. As we looked at him we said there's not that many guys in the league that have that skill set that can combine the size and the strength and can still have the athleticism that he has. He was a key component of the defense and we're excited he's back. Misi is a guy that obviously has played very well on the line of scrimmage at the point of attack. He's a guy that can hopefully give us continue in certain rush situations to add. He's a guy that we'd like to see in as a third year guy, I believe he's going into his third year, we'd like to see him emerge a little bit more and be a little more productive and make some maybe more impact plays."
(On Mike Pouncey and the interior offensive line) – "I really like his athleticism. I love his competiveness. I thought he played the game on his feet really well. One of the thing you're always evaluating with linemen is can they sustain a block, can they finish a block, can they play the game up on their feet without ending up on the ground too much. We thought he had a very, very good rookie year. Again, that's a critical position in our offense so he's going to have a lot of responsibility in terms of the blocking schemes. I thought he played very, very well. Richie Incognito is a guy that did some good things. (John) Jerry we've had. The rest of the interior isn't quite as settled but Richie played well. The right guard position is kind of open at this point in time. We'll see how it shakes out."
(On Mario Williams and Mark Anderson joining the Buffalo Bills) – "They're both very good players. I remember Mark Anderson's first career sack. I was the offensive line coach in Green Bay. It was the first game he played. He beat Chad Clifton inside on a play in the first quarter. I was thinking to be myself oh my God…this is going to be a long year. They're both good players. Every team has good players. We've got a couple. Last time I checked our left tackle is a pretty good player. We're excited to have him in our division and we'll deal with them accordingly. They're both quality football players and they can impact the game so you got to have your radar up when you're playing those guys."
(On not adding defensive ends like the Bills did) – "I didn't even see what the contract was that Mario Williams signed. I'm sure it was extensive. We really didn't discuss it a whole lot. Again, teams make decisions and add players. I don't really…we didn't say hey, it's too much, it's too little. It wasn't really going down that road."
(On his conversations with Jake Long) – "He's come by the office a number of times. I've had a chance to visit with him. I know Jimmy Turner has, Mike Sherman has. Seems like all the things you hear about him seem to be true. I think he's ready to take on a more active leadership role on the ball club. He says he feels good. He says he'll be ready to go in when the offseason program starts. I'm really excited about working with him."
(On keeping Jake Long long term) – "Those guys are hard to find. That kind of size and that kind of athleticism is not an easy combination to get. There's not a whole lot of guys out there. I'm sure as we move forward that's something we're going to look at and look at closely."
(On a scouting report on David Garrard) – "As I said in 2010 he had very good productivity. I think he throws a real catchable ball. He can spin it pretty good. He came in a couple weeks ago, whenever it was when he came into visit and moved well, threw the ball well. He's got good velocity on his ball. I think fundamentally he's got nice mechanics. I like his personality. I like the way he handles himself, carries himself around the building I think will be good. I did some research on him with some people that I know that had some backgrounds with him during his days in Jacksonville. All reports were very positive about the kind of person he is, the work ethic he brings to the field. I think he's got real good skills. He's very comfortable throwing the ball on the move. He's had success throwing the ball on the move. He's certainly got the arm strength. I think he can be a factor in the vertical game as well."
(On David Garrard's health) – "Again, probably the bigger part of the visit was making sure that our medical staff was comfortable with where he was at. And as you know, there's no guarantees with anything but they were confident that he has made a complete recovery and is ready to go."
(On what he's looking for in a receiver to be successful in the West Coast offense) – "I still think you got to find somebody…a guy who can separate. Separation versus man coverage is something you're always looking to see. That's an important thing. You're looking for a guy that has body control who can get in and out of his breaks quickly without losing speed so even if it's zone coverage he can get more separation from a defender. He can do that much, much easier if he's got good body control, good balance, if he can drop his weight as we like to say at the top of his route. But just like defense, you still have to catch the ball. You got have good ball skills. You'd like to see the degree that you can on film how competitive a guy is across the middle. Can he hang on to the ball in a tight window after taking a hit. On a vertical one on one matchup throw down the field, is he going to win against that DB. Sometimes you got to search, you got to look to find some of those examples. The separation factor is big. The transition and route running in and out of breaks is important. The ball skills both when they're wide open and for a contested ball are probably the most important things that we're looking for."
(On how important a fullback is in his offense) – "I think at certain times it may be more important than others. There may be games where we aren't going to be in a two back whatsoever. There may be times where a tight end might be the guy in the backfield, not necessarily a true fullback. It's a little bit game plan specific. I don't know it's mandatory that we have a pounded fullback that plays 20 plays in a game but there may be goal line situations, four minute situations, short yardage. Or if you feel like you can get a specific advantage by using it in normal down and distance its important. I think it's good to have. I don't think it's necessarily a luxury item but I don't know if it's an absolute must every single week."
(On if he's seen tape on Jerome Messam) – "Yeah, a little bit, yeah. He's an interesting prospect. A real big man. We'll be interested to get our hands on him and see what he can do and see how he can pick up the pass protection thing. I think it's going to be big as I said before. Would love to be able to keep the same people in the game and do different things. We're going to see have to see how that piece works out."
(On what the fans should know about his coaching style and how he's going to handle the team) – "My style is a couple things that are important to know. Number one, it's a privilege for me to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. So when I meet the team for the first time, I'm going to remind these guys of the great tradition, history that this franchise has and the great obligation they have as a member of the Miami Dolphins to represent this organization the right way both on and off the field. That's number one. Beyond that what I'm going to bring to the Dolphins as an organization football wise on Sunday's I think they're going to see a sound football team, one that plays with good fundamental, good discipline, high effort. They're going to see a smart football team. A team that's going to understand the situations in the ball game and respond and execute whether it's two minute offense, last play of the half, third down offense, execution versus pressure. You're going to see a team that's tough physically and mentally, a team that plays the game the right way. Those are the representation the organization the right way and is very, very important to me and our staff. We're going to be a sound football team. We're going to be a smart football team. We're going to be a tough football team. We're going to be a developmental football team. I see this team getting better week in and week out as we move forward. Year in, year out…I see us being a consistent, winning football team."
(On not appearing that he yells fairly loud) – "Well, we'll have to invite you to practice one time (laughing). I think the number one rule in coaching is you have to be yourself. You can't be somebody you're not. I've always told our coaches and I've always operated under this premise…you're a teacher. Your job is to teach the players what they need to know to do their job. They don't need to know everything I need to know to do my job. They need to know to do their job. There's two situations where you really jump down a players neck. Number one is if they're not giving maximum effort. Number two is if they keep making the same mistakes over and over and over. Then you got a problem. Then you should do whatever you have to do. I've dropped an F-bomb in my day. I'm not impressed by people who drop F-bombs. I'm not saying I'm never going to do it but the loudest yeller doesn't necessarily impress me. What really matters is on Monday when you watch the film, does the team do what you say they're going to do. And how you do that really doesn't matter to me. What does matter is what the film says on Monday when you watch it. I'm very, very passionate. This profession is very important to me. I've been doing to for 28 years. This is going to be my 29th. I'm very passionate about what I do. It's important to me that we do a great job here in Miami. I know we're going to. The method and how we do that, I hope the fans will judge me by the way team plays on Sunday."
(On the new CBA delaying the first time he can meet with his players) – "We just got to do a better job, got to be more efficient in our teaching. We got to be more concise and candid and clear on what we want and how we're going to instruct these guys. It puts a little more pressure on us. The nice thing about it is everybody is under the same limitations that we are. I don't think football is that hard of a game. I think we are going to have a great scheme. I'm very confident we have excellent coaches who know the game of football very well. That being said, football is not that hard of a game. If it's that complicated we got problems. We have more than enough time and we're going to do a good job communicating what we want done to these guys. Hopefully it will translate."
(On who the best is to play middle linebacker on a 4-3 front with Koa Misi, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby) – "I'm not sure yet. Again, part of it is if we have those three guys on the field at the same time we'll have to sort some of that stuff out. That's what kind of the OTA's are for and Mini Camps are for, getting to know those guys."
(On the difference between his offense and Mike Sherman's at Texas A&M) – "There's a lot of similarities. We've been going through it over the last six or seven weeks. Obviously I worked for him in Green Bay and there was a lot of obviously a lot of the things he did in Green Bay he still is doing. Concept, big picture wise he may have changed the name. There might have been a nuance here and there that's different but there's not a lot of difference. Maybe the emphasis of what you're doing is different. Maybe we did certain things in the gun a little bit more than he did in college. Maybe that's a subtle difference. But I think the plays and the concepts blocking wise, protection wise, route wise…there's a lot of similarities."
(On playing Tom Brady twice a year) – "That's why I hired Kevin Coyle (laughing). Obviously they're a high powered offense. They've done an excellent job over the years consistently moving the ball. Scored a ton of points over the years. They do a great job of taking care of the football too. They don't turn the ball over a lot. That's another thing they do extremely well. Safe to say to have to slow them down you're going to find a way to hopefully disrupt their timing and rhythm. That's easier said than done, but whether it's by blitzing, whether it's by dropping eight guys, whether it's by a combination thereof. Their thing is they got some really talented athletes. They want to get the ball to those guys in space. The other thing you want to do is you better tackles those guys. If you can't tackle against that team you're going to be in trouble. I think you got to disrupt their timing and their rhythm. You probably have to have some blend of pressure and maximum drop, get some guys out of there and you better tackle. They're going to get some completions there now. The guy is pretty accurate. He's going to complete some passes. See if you can be physical and knock the ball loose, change the momentum a little bit."
(On any chance he offers his team up for Hard Knocks this summer) – "I'm built for radio, not TV (laughing)."
(On what sticks out with Brian Hartline) – "I think he runs real well…he runs very well. We've had a couple good meetings with him. He's been up. He's eager. He's excited about getting to work. Again, we're not looking to have….the goal as we set forward isn't to have one receiver on one side have 65 catches and the other guy have 63 catches. It's not that were planned out. But certainly we'd like to have more production. I think he had 30 something catches last year. We'd like to have some balance and more production out of him. I think he's ready to step up. He's anxious about his role whatever it may be and getting into the offense and learning it. I'm excited about him."
(On having an offense that can match a team that puts up a lot of points like New England) – "Yeah, I think obviously you got to score points to win games in this league. That being said, they don't lose a lot of shoot outs, you know what I mean. They're a team that scored and they've been consistent and they've been productive for a long, long time. The goal when you game plan on offense and you sit in those meetings on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday everything looks good on the board. You're designing things that you feel have a chance against for what you're preparing for. I don't know that you ever go into a game and look to get in a shootout. But certainly there is increased pressure when you play those guys to score points."
(On evaluating the receivers like Clyde Gates and Marlon Moore that he hasn't seen much of) – "We haven't done a ton. We watched a little bit of the practice tape. We're relying a lot on what Jeff (Ireland) and his staff have seen in these guys in their period of time with the club. We're just going to have to wait and reserve a lot of judgment until we get these guys on the practice field and see exactly what they're capable of doing. To sit here and say we have a great vision of how these guys are going to fit in and say he's going to be the slot receiver, he's going to be the Z receiver, he's the X…we're going to feature Clyde on in breaking routes, slants and go's. We got to see how that all shakes out."
(On how involved he is in the dollar amount that's offered to players) – "Not very much. I wasn't very good at math anyway (laughing)."
(On Artis Hicks and where he will play) – "More of a swing guy. Both. That's was probably one of the reasons we signed him because he had that versatility."
(On Lydon Murtha) – "I remember Lydon Murtha. I went to see him in high school in Minnesota nine, ten years ago. So I remember him recruiting years and years ago. He was a good athlete coming out of high school I remember. I remember watching him when he was coming out of Nebraska. I evaluated him then. Obviously showed a lot of promise, had the injury. He's been up, says he feels good, says he's ready to go. Have to see how that goes."
(On a body of work with Lydon Murtha being a starter) – "Not that I've watched. There may be but I wouldn't want to lie to you and tell you that I've watched it. We're going to make our judgment based on what we see when he comes back."
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